Hello you beautiful people!
Goodness it’s been about 7 months since my last blog post. Errr what??!!
Firstly, sorry about that! And secondly, wow, so much has happened.
To pick up from where we left off…
I was talking about my #sewingmetallicmarch entry and whilst I got my entry in, I didn’t get round to blogging about it.
I decided on Mummy and Me matching leggings.
I used free patterns by 5 out of 4.
The patterns are the Little Ninja Leggings and the Ninja Pants.
Both patterns are in PDF format and include a multitude of sizes and lengths. The reason I like 5 out of 4 so much is their range of sizes and their none cut PDFs, which make the puzzle so much quicker to put together.
The children’s pattern ranges from 0-3 months to 14 years, and the ladies XXS to 5XL. The ladies pattern also includes 7 lengths and 4 rises as well as a maternity option.
Both pairs contain gussets which, whilst fiddly to sew without a serger/overlocker, are a brilliant option for leggings for extra movement and comfort. I’m definitely converted!
The pattern has an optional pocket for your phone/keys. I didn’t add this option as my machine wasn’t completely happy sewing the fabric near the raw edges, so it just wasn’t working for me, but I don’t miss it either.
I also opted for a fully elasticated deep waistband rather than using the fabric to create one. This was a super quick option and has been sooo comfortable. I used it on both pairs and it’s been great for keeping the leggings in place so we’re not hiking them up every 5 minutes.
Both patterns call for a 4-way stretch knit fabric with at least 50% stretch in each direction. After a fair bit of searching I went for a Lycra Spandex with a metallic print from BST Fabrics LTD.
I was a weeny worried about the material being “squat proof” and got in touch with BST Fabrics LTD for some advice as I was between a few different fabrics; they were really helpful and the advice I received was spot on. I really love the print and the fabric feels great to touch. It wasn’t too fiddly to sew either as the raw edges didn’t curl too much. The fabric has actually washed fairly well too. G has worn hers quite a lot and the print has started to fade a little particularly at the knees, but the fabric itself hasn’t lost it’s shape and she still gets plenty of wear out of them. I only tend to wear mine around the house when I want comfort and I’m not going anywhere, or occasionally decide I need to do a bit of exercise 😁 They have washed brilliantly for me and the print is still just as fine as the day I sewed them up.
Whilst BST no longer do this exact fabric, they have loads of AMAZING alternatives.
#sewingmetallicmarch really pushed me out of my comfort zone and I thoroughly enjoyed making something different; not only pattern wise, but fabric and print too. Thank you Tamlyn, Samantha and Kealy who are truly doing a wonderful job bringing us sewists amazing ideas and prizes ❤
Then what happened?
I mentioned in my last blog that my husband was knocked off his bike and well, it sort of hit such a nerve for us both that we decided to make some major changes to our lives.
Neither of us were happy at home/work and the accident reinforced that life is short. If we’re not happy we need to change things, not just stay stuck in a rut and hope life will sort itself out.
My husband came to me one day and said something I never EVER thought he would dream of saying, at least until he was an old man!
He said, “What if I look for jobs on the Isle of Man?”
Now, anyone that knows me well will know that I’ve ALWAYS wanted to live on the Isle of Man. Ever since I was a little, I wanted to live there.
I was lucky enough as a kid to be able to go to the Isle of Man at least once a year to stay with my Grandparents on my Mum’s side; my Nana and Popa. The magic my sister and I got snippets of whilst we were with them, has meant that the island has always been this magical place of adventure and beauty that holds so much history and mystery, that the pull there has always been great; it always feels like going home to me .
So, he started looking for work.
After some digging around and contacting agencies, it was turning out that to make the move possible, it may be easier for me to find work first as my line of work may be more desirable.
The Isle of Man isn’t actually part of the U.K or even the EU, and has its own Parliament and government; it is a crown dependency, so to work there you need a permit. I’m extra lucky because my Mum was born on the Isle of Man and with a bit of paperwork and box ticking, I would be able to get us worker status. No permit necessary.
So, we made the decision at the end of March to move to the Isle of Man and that I would be the one to look for work…
Time to put on big girl pants and get back on the General Optical Council register.
Before G was born I was a full time, fully qualified Dispensing Optician and had it in my head I would just go back to work when my maternity leave ended. After she was born I couldn’t go back to work; I wanted to be with her for as long as possible. The thought of leaving her caused me so much pain and anxiety we had to just try and make it work without me working.
I was extremely fortunate to have been given the opportunity to do that and as she is now at pre-school age, it makes it a little easier for me to let go. However over this period of “not working”, I decided to come off the register as I couldn’t afford the fees.
To stay on the GOC register you have to maintain a level of education and keep learning to keep your knowledge relevant and up to date. I had to do a bit of studying again and earn some education and training points to get back on the register.
Coincidentally an Optics fair was going to be on 2 weeks after I made the decision to re-register. I booked myself in at Optrafair at the NEC in Birmingham and I was going it completely alone!
We’d made this massive decision and now I was about to travel by train and be on my own in a hotel for a night for the first time ever without Georgia. That’s 3+ years. At this stage, we still co-slept and I hadn’t had a night away from her since before she was born. Hello anxiety!
Around this time, I also got a pattern test for Rebecca Page. I’ve admired Rebecca Page patterns since I started sewing and have a fair few patterns of theirs that I’m yet to get around to sewing, so I was really chuffed when I got this test and I could make something to wear at Optrafair. So I made and wore a spec-tacularly inspired piece; The Josephine Jumper.
The Josephine Jumper
The Josephine Jumper is a draped cowl neck, front cross over with a twist, jumper. It’s an incredibly comfortable jumper with a relaxed fit that can be dressed up or down and is suitable for knit fabrics in sizes XXS to 5XL.
The pattern instructions and pictures are fantastic and very easy to follow. The cowl twist can get a bit confusing if you don’t take your time and the instructions help explain how to do the twist and shows it really well. It’s super quick to cut out and sew, so if you want to whip something fabulous up in an afternoon, this is one to go for. It only has 4 pattern pieces and the twist in the cowl really gives it that something extra.
If you’re stuck for ideas or want a good scroll, there is a wealth of inspiration on the Rebecca Page Facebook page and Instagram.
The fabric I used is from Minerva Crafts, but sadly, it’s not available anymore. And yes, I’m totally channeling my inner Kylie Minogue!
Needless to say I went to Optrafair, I did it and boy was it empowering. That old “everything you want is just outside your comfort zone” truth.
I really did feel as though I could do anything after that! Just making a decision and going after it.
I gained all my points to get back on the register in the 2 days, so I decided to try and help my cause and get back on LinkedIn to see if I could network in the Optical world. Soon after setting up, an Optical agency got in touch and said they’d like a chat about a possible job opportunity…
And if you want to find out what happened next, stay tuned and I’ll get that post written up soon!
Thank you for sticking with me, and as always, any comments, likes and questions are always greatly received and very much appreciated. I’ll be back in a few days time with the rest of my story and a 1 year old blog mini celebration.
Happy Sewing Beautiful People ❤
DISCLAIMER: As always, all thoughts, feelings, comments and recommendations are my own. I received The Josephine Pattern free of charge as part of the pattern test.